ViennaGeorge Henry Longly: Benthos
New and recent work by GHL with Cookies and Nelson Beer
benthos [ /ˈbɛnθɒs /]
all the plants and animals living on or closely associated with the bottom of a body of water
Galerie Kandlhofer presents Benthos – New and recent work by GHL with Cookies. and Nelson Beer.
Exhibited in Austria for the first time, this show brings together works by George Henry Longly (b.1978. Lives and works in London, UK) from 2012 to the present day and emphasizes his multifaceted artistic practice that blends together a variety of media. The exhibition features sculpture, furniture and video, highlighting significant shows throughout the artist’s career. Benthos intermixes the exhibitions We all love your life at Red Bull Arts NY (2016) and The Tissue Equivalent at the Palais de Tokyo (2018) with recent work, collaborations with the Rotterdam-based design collective Cookies as well as the Swiss musician Nelson Beer.
Benthos describes GHL’s continuing exploration of transformation to the maximum by choosing to locate his work in the hostile extremes of the seabed and the space station. The intense pressure of the deep sea and the vacuum of space sit together in the same exhibition and provide a context for the artist´s expansive practice. Although these two settings seem to be exact opposites, they share the property of being almost inaccessible to humans – or, as often put, it is easier to send someone into space than to the bottom of the ocean. Through various systems of display the artworks immerse the spectators entirely – creating a new environment in which they have to orient themselves.
By revisiting ideas from his influential exhibitions from the past as well as displaying significant works from other points throughout his career GHL does not curate his history but directs us rather towards his future practice.
Longly´s openness to collaborative practices and exchange are a constant inquiry into a diverse range of disciplines, creating a reciprocal influence. The artworks are imbued with an agency developed through the artistic, social and political climate surrounding the artist during the working process and effect notions in the viewer from deep within.
VdW Inc. (Van der Waals Inc) is a collaborative entity created by Cookies, a Rotterdam-based design and architecture collective, and London-based artist George Henry Longly. The initial impulse of the project was to articulate a collaboration between the design practice of Cookies and the artistic practice of GHL that goes beyond a superficial collage of ideas and that integrates research, art, design and architecture in order to reach outcomes that are relevant to emerging lifestyles. VdW created a series of functional objects that are inspired by historical and current trends in office furniture, corporate aesthetics and contemporary live/work environments. The three daybeds shown in the exhibition Benthos are made out of glass and aluminum and are directly influenced by the Roman triclinium, embodying the staged laziness as well as the horizontal scrolling culture.
Searchers is a film created by Longly together with the Swiss musician and artist Nelson Beer for his track Vespers. Beer is the protagonist as well as the composer of the score of this public video artwork that is currently simultaneously on view in Aarhus (Denmark). In this project the potential of collaborative practice is reflected again in the artist´s discipline and articulates a constant blending of projects that not only influence current work but also the future.